Southern Ming Dynasty - Koxinga


Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong), son of Zheng Zhilong, was awarded with the titles: Wei Yuan Hou (威远候), Zhang Guo Gong (漳国公), and Yan Ping Wang (延平王) by the Yongli Emperor of the Southern Ming Dynasty.

On the eleven year of Yongli, various anti-Qing military commanders gathered in Fujian to select a northern expedition target. Koxinga chose Nanjing, which was emperor Hongwu's choice of a state capital, which would naturally have a large anti-Qing population. Nanjing was also an important strategic location. On the fifth month and the twelve year of Yongli, Koxinga led an army of 100,000 soldiers and 290 warships to attack Nanjing, leaving a small military force for the defence of Xiamen

Koxinga's military force went through Zhejiang, Pingyang, Ruian, Wenzhou, and Zhousan, joining forces with another military commander Zhang Huanyan . On the ninth day of the eight month, near Yangsan Island a hurricane caused massive damage to the fleet, resulting in the loss of 8,000 personnel, sinking of 40 warships, and various degree of damage to all the ships. Koxinga called a temporary halt to the military advance and ordered repairs and refurbishing of the fleet, waiting for the right moment to attack. The Manchu Qing Governor called for the strengthening of its defence surrounding Chongmin Island, Mount Fu, Quanzhou, and Zhengjiang by laying a long iron chain across the river, and building wooden rafts stationed with soldiers and cannons. Koxinga ordered soldiers to cut the iron chain by axes, and to set fire to the enemy's wooden rafts. When Koxinga joined forces with Zhang Huanyan at the Yangtze River, the defending forces' resistance was minimal and soon Nanjing was encroached.

However, he had fallen into the Manchu's trap and ambush, a number of his generals perished on the battlefield. After suffering a humiliating defeat at Nanjing, Koxinga eventually decided to retreat back to Xiamen. Chinese historians concluded that the battle of Nanjing was of the utmost importance in the life of Koxinga, since it dealt a fatal blow to his grand anti-Qing ambitions.

Read more about this topic:  Southern Ming Dynasty

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